My husband and I have always strived to teach our children to love and live the local culture. In Baton Rouge, that means tailgating. Both of my children were around six months old for their first tailgates, and as soon as my daughter could express herself she started referring to many fall Saturdays as “LSU all day day.” I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Some people think tailgating is only for crazy college kids, established companies and/or those lucky enough to have an RV in Touchdown Village. That is just not true. I am here to tell you that tailgating with a family is possible and, quite honestly, pretty fun. Like so many other events pre and post parenthood, this fun is a little different. And that is OK as long as you accept that before heading out under those beautiful oaks. For us, tailgating is truly a family affair.
We are lucky enough to have a few tailgates that we visit on a regular basis and many more that we try to make while we are out. There have also been times when we never really stayed at a tailgate and just walked around for a while and enjoyed the sights.Tailgating is more than just hanging out on campus. This is where we visit with family members and friends (who we consider family) who we only see a few times a year…holidays, birthday parties and tailgates! I frequently sit back while my kids make memories. I love watching them play football or tag or just chit chat with kids their own age; make friends with other kids they have never met before; or be sneaky and eat way too many desserts. My kids have even been known to yell “Tiger Bait” as the visitor buses drive by. They get so excited when they know the band is about to start playing and it’s time to start making our way to Victory Hill to watch the players walk to the stadium. These are the experiences that I want my kids to remember and pass on to their own kids some day.
- Gameday Attire: Long before the season starts, I am on the lookout for adorable gameday clothes. What’s cuter than an LSU smocked dress or Jon Jon or personalized appliquéd outfits with sassy fabric? I have recently hit a bout of depression because now my kids want to pick out their own gameday clothes, and the styles are not always as cute as a I envision. But, they do know exactly what I mean when I scream “GAMEDAY CLOTHES” first thing on Saturday morning.
- PARKING PASS: Do anything short of selling your soul to obtain that amazing piece of paper that makes your day better in every way possible. It’s a huge stress relief to know where you will park and so worth the $$$. I would rather have season parking passes than season tickets to the games. If you don’t get a parking pass, check here for other pay parking options.
- Backpack filled with wipes, toilet paper, snacks, extra clothes and footballs.
- Ice chest that can be easily carried filled with water, juice pouches and of course a few adult beverages.
- Stroller: We all know how wonderful a quick nap in the stroller can be for kids. My kids are too big for strollers this year and I felt totally out of sorts walking around campus holding their hands. I had to be way more vigilant as we meandered through the crowds.
- Good sense of direction and a plan: I leave this up to my husband. The already large campus grows larger on game days which makes it impossible to walk the entire campus each weekend. It’s just too big, and you will never get a chance to visit all the tailgates. If you have tailgates on either side of campus, I recommend sticking to one area one weekend then switching to another area the next weekend. Remember, this all depends on where you park. Again, parking passes trump friends for tailgates. Trust me, your friends will understand. They would do the same thing.
MUST HAVES FOR LSU TAILGATING ::
- The Official Jersey Sweater
- simply NOLA designs
- Truly Scrumptuous Candies and Confections
- Lil Bit Crawfish Boil Set
What are your favorite family friendly tailgating tips?